Category Archives: Fun Times

Science Fiction Giveaway Bonanza

Does anyone use the word “bonanza” anymore? Anyway…


Welcome to the galactic #SFling September giveaway!

Twenty-two award-winning, New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors have banded together to bring one lucky winner a fleet of awesome prizes. I am one of those authors, but none of those other qualifiers apply to me… That said, you can still win these great prizes:

  • A Kindle Fire,
  • A $25 Amazon gift card, and
  • The paperbacks and ebooks pictured above (and more!)

You can get up to 22 entries into the contest by signing up for author’s mailing lists. And for each entry you’ll get a free ebook copy of the book the author has in the giveaway! Yes, it really is that easy and amazing!

Just Click Here to go to the contest entry page and start entering!


Most Boring Reality Show Ever


Imitation… blah blah … flattery …

Shortform: Bionic Woman = Alias + bionic parts + little sister – 1st/2nd season “friends” – (prophecy + familial turmoil)

There are seriously some times when Michelle Ryan (aka Jamie Sommers) looks exactly like Jennifer Garner (aka Sidney Bristow). And I’m pretty sure I like it (it being Bionic Woman – not Michelle Ryan looking like Jennifer Garner) because they’re pretty much copying the Alias formula for all it’s worth, and actually getting it right. Could use a little more Sarah McLachlan, though. Nothing says “Heroine Emotion” like Sarah McLachlan.

I also like it because the parts that are different from Alias are well done. Sometimes so well done that I wonder if Bionic Woman might not turn out to be a better show than Alias. Scary, I know. But the little sister part is well done and takes up just the right amount of time to be a good diversion from the rest of the show (except for the part where Jonas drives her home from the police station and then appears in Paris the same night to talk to Jamie; though, I’m sure the Berkut group has a private airport, and maybe they have a plane like the Concorde).

The flirting went a little overboard in the most recent episode (The List), but I liked it at least as much – if not more – than the brooding, deep stuff that went on with Sidney and Vaughn. I’m sure it’s hard to write it so that the humor works while still keeping the show fairly dark and not going off into Chuck territory.

I was going to make a list of things that look like:

Marshall = Nathan

Sloane = Jonas

Fiance killed in 1st episode = Fiance killed in 1st episode

but I’m sure that’s already been done on about a dozen other blogs. So, let me end with this:

Dear NBC,

Can you please switch Bionic Woman with Journeyman (or just go ahead and cancel Journeyman; it’s too much like Day Break and nobody watched that dumb show). Journeyman seems like a much better fit with Life (both single white men trying to solve mysteries about their lives), and Bionic Woman seems like a much better fit with Chuck and Heroes (that doesn’t even need a parenthetical – it’s practically like Chuck and Heroes had a baby who was Bionic Woman).

Also, this would allow me to watch Bionic Woman when it’s broadcast, forcing me to view the commercials that appear on my TV screen, as opposed to watching it online where I can just click over to my email or Bloglines for 30 seconds while Toyota plays a nice little song for me.

Thanks for helping me out,


Reading Between the Battle Lines

Acquired via BookMooch: a trio of books about Halo including The Fall of Reach, The Flood, and First Strike.

Tell Me A Fable

I was trying to read the triology before the arrival of Halo 3, but only made it a little over a third of the way there (i.e., a little bit into the second book). I’m now nearing the end of the second book, but I got Halo 3 a week ago, and am over half way though the campaign. The second book is basically a recounting of the campaign from the first Halo game with some side stories about the marines and Covenant thrown in. I use the words thrown in, but really, these side stories add a lot of depth to the story of the game. And speaking of depth, the first book tells the (nearly) entire backstory of the Master Chief (aka the big green guy); something that probably would have made a very boring game, but which works very well as a novel.

Speaking of boring games, though: In playing Halo 3, I have been made aware once more of what a poor job the games do of telling the story. The main characters in Halo 3 – the Master Chief and the Arbiter – are actually very deep (the latter actually more so than the former), but the campaign still feels like just another run through a bunch of levels, shooting/grenading/smacking everything in your way. That’s not to imply it lacks the fun factor that makes for a good game, but since I’d read the first book before playing any of Halo 3, I was really hoping that the power of the 360 would allow the story to be told in much more depth and with a greater level of emotion than the first Halo. The second Halo game did a somewhat decent job of weaving the story in, and actually making the game more than just a shooting gallery.

Unfortunately, Halo 3 feels like like a step backwards from Halo 2 with respect to the realization and illustration of the storyline. The levels are more varied and incorporate the use of strategy better than the previous two games (though Halo 2 did a good job of trying to make you think strategically), but the game so far hasn’t told the story of the Master Chief or the Arbiter (or Cortana or Gravemind) nearly as well as I’d hoped. And with only three and a half levels left, I’m worried (and relatively sure) it’s going to stay that way. I mean, Darth Revan reveals himself only halfway through KOTOR (warning: following the link may spoil that game if you haven’t played it).

Playing By The Book

What the book(s) did well in addition to expanding the story from the game was teach me how to play the game. No joke. Reading the descriptions of how Master Chief deals with the Covenant and the Flood in the book made me realize that each part of the game(s) is set up to try to get you to deal with a situation in a certain way. Of course, you don’t have to, but by recognizing strategic points in missions, I feel like my experience with Halo 3 has been enriched. I did notice this in some sections in the earlier games, but I’m not exactly Mr. Final Boss Owner, so I tended to just brute force my through a lot of parts in the first two Halo games, but in the third one, I feel like I’m playing with a lot more finesse and actually playing the game the way the designers intended it. And I know it’s not because of the improved storytelling (see above if you skipped over that part). And I know it’s not because of the improved graphics.

… The graphics are improved, and it does make the game better. That’s kind of a given and an expectation. But when the grunt’s methane tanks sputter and hiss when you hit them (something they didn’t do in the previous games), I notice the improvement because I read the books and know that they breathe methane and have those canisters strapped to their backs to survive.

Finely tuned ear muscles


Now, while I can assure you that not everything Timbaland touches turns to gold, I can assure you that I have been Jocking (yes, capital J – it’s currently #9 in the past 6 months according to Apologize since this album came out in – as you can see above – March 2007. It’s just hitting the radio now. That does give you an idea of just how good the album it, though. It’s not without holes, but it’s one album that is definitely worth paying for (which, of course, is what I most certainly did), as opposed to a lot of other albums this year that I’m glad I was able to “preview” before buying.

On another Timbaland note, that Ayo Technology song would actually be pretty good if it didn’t have 50 Cent on it. It’s not necessarily a knock on 50, cause he’s made one or two good songs. That song just doesn’t suit him as well as it fits with New Justin. (Please note the clever use of suit and fit there)